Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Don't lose that bus: The perils of a child's object of affection


"Have you seen the bus?" Dave asks in a panic. We're with Ben at an aquarium, and Ben is pointing to the fish in a tank.

"Yes, it's in my bag," I reassure him.

We have this exchange multiple times throughout the day. That is because Ben is obsessed with a little yellow metal bus, and our lives are dependent on it being readily available. Whenever we're out, Dave and I regularly glance at Ben's hands to make sure he's still clutching it. If he drops it when we're on the highway and Dave is driving, I have been known to perform Cirque du Soleil acts of gymnastics to retrieve it. At home, we're forever hunting it down.

Whenever it's AWOL, Ben holds out his hands piteously and says "BUSSSSSSSSS!" Like this:


"BUSSSSSSSSSS! BUSSSSSSSSS!" That's what Dave and I wake up to every morning, as Ben stands in his crib. For a while there, I was putting him to sleep with it then sneaking it out once he nodded off, but snoozing next to a hard metal object is not recommended in any of the baby books and I put my foot down. Otherwise, Dave, Max, Sabrina and I are are Ben's bus keepers, suppliers and enablers. Ben used to consider me his source of milk; now he considers me the person capable of retrieving BUSSSSSSSSS! from beneath the couch.

I used to worry that Max's lack of devotion to a blanket, lovey or toy as a baby was indicative of a lack of development; back then, I over-analyzed everything he did (or didn't). He later more than made up with it with his fascination with all things Lightning McQueen and then, fire trucks. Sabrina was obsessed with "habifiers" (pacifiers), and it was easy enough to have a ready supply of both. Only now: BUSSSSSSSSSS!

BUSSSSSSSSSS! is about a month old. I picked it up at a toy store before a lunch out to occupy Ben, a plaything that seemed overpriced at $9.99 but would be worth every cent if it enabled me and Dave to eat. Distraction? Bwaaaaaaaah-ha-ha! Little did we know. Ben takes it everywhere:

The beach

Nice restaurant 

Hotel hallway

The Wetlands Institute in NJ

Grandma's house

Starbucks

Keeping track of it is a challenge, given that BUSSSSSSSSSS! is all of five inches long and Ben enjoys depositing it in random places: in drawers, closets, cabinets and baskets; under bookcases and the hutch in our dining room; and once, in our garbage. That was fun. When I ask him where BUSSSSSSSSSS! is, he just looks at me curiously. I don't get why nobody's yet come up with toys that have built-in trackers. Just think of how much time parents could save if we no longer had to search for errant toy pieces or BUSSSSSSSSSS!

My reward for being BUSSSSSSSSSS!'s handler: When I find it and hand it back to Ben, he reacts as if it is the first time he has ever laid eyes on it.


Ben is similarly obsessed with actual buses. "BUSSSSSSSSSS!" he screeches when Max's school bus shows up or we're walking down a street and one passes by. He also calls trucks "buses" so cruising around with him is very exciting. The other day, we hung out for 15 minutes on a street corner so he could gaze adoringly at a parked school bus. 


Dave keeps warning me that we need to get a backup. Ben tolerates the plastic buses I've gotten, but they are not BUSSSSSSSSSS! The store where I bought BUSSSSSSSSSS! isn't that close to our house, I haven't been able to find another locally and the options on Amazon don't totally look like BUSSSSSSSSSS! I really need to get on that, though, as all hell will break loose when BUSSSSSSSSSS! inevitably does disappear for good.

Pray for us.

15 comments:

  1. Max's obsession with fire trucks and now Ben's "BUSSSSSSSSSS!" Must be in the genes. ;)

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    Replies
    1. I don't know where they got it from, I'm not obsessed with anything! Well, OK, just cheese.

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  2. Oh yes. Find another. My granddaughter is obsessed with a round stuffed elephant from Dollar General for $10. We looked to see if they had more everytime we went but no luck. And then she lost it. They had been to the park. We went back, but no luck. Her granddad got on the phone and started call Dollar Generals and found one about 75 mikes away. We treat it like gold since their isn't another anywhere. She's almost 7 but still want it to sleep or if she's upset. Ben is so cute! And he looks so much like Max. I know they are sweet together

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    1. Wait, Anon, so Grandad drove the 75 miles to get it? That is true love! And yes, Max and Ben are really sweet together. Although lately they have been tussling over who gets to play with Max's fire trucks. !!!

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  3. Honestly you might want to get a tracker to attach to it. Tile has a small pretty thin one. I bought a pack and a system to stick them on things for my remote, kindle and a few other things.

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    1. I thought of that, but they are choking hazards for a kid his age. Ben likes to taste random things!

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  4. Is this not it?
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00H8769TO/ref=mp_s_a_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1499883417&sr=8-3&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65&keywords=yellow+school+bus+toy&dpPl=1&dpID=41SpXKxwnjL&ref=plSrch

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to look that up! One reviewer said she had gotten a bus that was not as pictured, with parts that fell off/could be choking hazards. But ya know, I could always return it. I just ordered a couple. THANKS!

      Delete
  5. My son carried a hot pink/lime green ball everywhere. And then he would drop it, and it would do what balls do....roll away. ALL the way to the front of the church or out onto the basketball where his dad was the coach. Then it was a stuffed mandrill named Mr. Pinkbottom that a woman at a garage sale gave to Henry because he was so cute. (Both Henry and Pinkbottom, but I think it was Henry mostly.) We have backtracked to motels to get him when he got left behind. (The ball eventually got chewed up by the dog, but we do still have Pinkbottom stored away.)

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    1. I am smiling at my computer as I type this. Mr. Pinkbottom lives on! How old was Henry when he gave him up?

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  6. The reason why kids have comfort objects is that they're a lifeline until they can access the parent's attention and affection.

    (Should I go into child psychology? :O)

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    Replies
    1. Maybe that's true in some situations. (If you saw how much I kiss Ben on any given day, you'd know there is no lack of affection in this household!) I also think these objects are comforting to little kids because so much changes as they develop plus they don't have control over a lot of things—so BUSSSSSSSSSS! offers Ben comfort from consistency.

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  7. BUSSSSSSS! reminds me of a little boy with special needs I sat with on the bus when I was in elementary school. He had a little bus similar to Ben's that he carried with him everyday. Also Ben has gotten so big!

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  8. 1) if you think that your thinking that Ben is unusually cute might be a parent's prejudice, you are wrong. Ben is super cute!

    2) My daughter had a blanket she was obsessed with. It was super cheap and though it started out pink quickly morphed to a dingy disgusting gray. So we used to joke that blankie would end up going to college only yeah not a joke. Daughter and blankie just graduated with a double engineering major.

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Thanks for sharing!



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